On the road again…
We wanted to tour the Gaspe Peninsula portion of Quebec seven years ago as part of our grand tour of the Canadian Maritime provinces, but the season closed in on us before we could do so. This summer has been very hot in Rhode Island so we decided to head north to cool off and explore that area. Not a lot of American tourists visit the Gaspe and a few of our friends actually thought it was called the Gatsby until we corrected them.
It’s a LONG drive north from our house in Rhode Island to Canada. We had to drive through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and the entire height of the State of Maine. After one night at Walmart we spent the second free-camped at this launch ramp in Ashland, ME.
We stopped at Portage Lake where the annual Whoopie Pie Festival was taking place on the town tennis courts. Unfortunately, the set-up was so pathetic I did not feel comfortable taking photographs, so you’ll have to use your imagination.
We enjoyed this view of Eagle Lake during a lunch break and a comfortable overnight with Boondockers Welcome hosts in Madawaska, Maine just below the Canadian border.
While camped at Sugarloaf Provincial Park in Campbellton, New Brunswick we took a ride on the chairlift with the mountain bikers.
Riding back down felt very strange, but the views were great.
When we were up this way before, we also missed a small segment of the New Brunswick coast so we headed down that way first and returned to Campbellton to head out the Gaspe a couple of days later.
LOTS of lighthouses up this way. This one is at Dalhousie.
Very cool sundial.
This rustic sign drew us off the highway at Black Pointe, NB…
Luckily we didn’t miss this turn down the dirt road…
To follow this sign to the best campsites…
Where this view welcomed us at our chosen location.
We had plenty of time to kick-back and enjoy the quietude.
Al spent a good half hour watching this great blue heron stalk fish.
Here you can see how close to the beach HaRVy is parked.
Looks a bit like the coast of Maine, doesn’t it?
A pretty nice sunrise welcomed a new day.
Youghall beach in Bathurst, NB where we had lunch and took a walk.
Youghall is considered one of the top ten beaches in New Brunswick and was one of the few we saw with fairly soft sand rather than rocks.
We drove back to Campbellton on the highway (much faster than coast road) for a night with another Boondockers Welcome host before heading out onto the Gaspe Peninsula.
Carleton-sur-Mer from Mont Saint Joseph.
Look closely to see where we boldly boondocked at Quai de l’Anse-a-Beaufils near Percé.
Breakfast overlooking the top tourist attraction on the peninsula, Percé Rock.
Bike ride to land’s end at Forillon National Park.
Continuing our drive around the peninsula we visited several scenic lighthouses…
Walked on many rocky beaches…
Observed numerous large Catholic churches, nearly one in every village…
And were amazed by this barge load of lumber.
We had a very pleasant night camping at Le Pirate Motel & Campground where the festive decor prompted me to get a bit silly.
This large scale art project, called Le Grand Rassemblement (The Grand Gathering in English), is the work of Canadian artist Marcel Gagnon.
Over 80 figures have been placed along the shore at varying depths in the river so that they appear and disappear with the tides. We just happened to arrive at low tide so we were able to walk among them.
The latest addition to the piece is a series of tethered wooden rafts. When the tide is low, the rafts simply sit on the sandy beach, but when the water rises the rafts hold the statues up on top of the water.
Al was intrigued by the unusual architecture at the Pointe de Pere lighthouse.
Lunch at the National Park du Bic was our last stop on the peninsula before taking the ferry across the St. Lawrence to mainland Quebec.
While the Gaspe Peninsula was more residential and less scenic than anticipated, we enjoyed the local people very much. While most did not speak much English, they always offered a warm welcoming smile. It is also a remarkably RV friendly area with an abundance of reasonably priced campgrounds, a plethora of lovely rest stops with very nice bathrooms (flush toilets and hot water), and even free roadside RV dump stations. Much more accommodating than any of the lower 48 states.